Tag Archives: World Indoor Championships

Femke Bol confirms Munich 2022 European Athletics Championships ambitions

European 400m record holder Femke Bol outlined her plans for 2022 and confirmed that the Munich 2022 European Athletics Championships are part of her schedule for this coming summer.

Understandably, the World Athletics Championships in July are her main target, where she will hope to improve on her Olympic Games bronze medal last summer, where she reduced the continental standard to 52.03 in a thrilling final which saw a world record from the American winner Sydney McLaughlin.

“That is the most important tournament and I hope to be at my best there. At the European Athletics Championships, I hope to have held on to that peak and to put in another good performance,” comments the 21-year-old 2021 European Athletics Rising Star in an interview with the Dutch broadcaster NOS.

No Dutch woman has ever won a 400m hurdles medal at the European Athletics Championships so Bol has the additional motivation of trying to challenge the championship record of 52.92 set by Russia’s Natalya Antyukh in 2010. Bol beat that time on no less than four occasions during 2021.

And if Bol does triumph in Munich this summer, she will keep the title in her training group as the gold medal in Berlin 2018 went to the now-retired Lea Sprunger from Switzerland who also used to be coached by Laurent Meuwly.

She is hoping that improvements in her hurdling technique before the summer – and being able to sustain a 15-stride pattern between hurdles for longer – will lead to her going even faster with the 52-second barrier an additional target. “If you improve a hundredth (of a second) in your technique, that is already a tenth gained after ten hurdles; that would mean for me that I would run 51 seconds something,” she added, noting that she feels that her hurdling technique isn’t yet as polished as the two American hurdlers – McLaughlin and Dalilah Muhammad – who finished in front of her in Tokyo.

Bol also intends to run at the World Indoor Championships in Belgrade in March, where she will contest the 400m without the barriers.

She won the European indoor title over two laps of the track in Torun, Poland last year, when she ran a European-leading indoor time and national record of 50.63, and would appear to have a very good chance to go for another gold in the Serbian capital.

Source: european-athletics.com

Obiri relishes new challenge ahead of Doha Diamond League meeting

Kenya’s Hellen Obiri says her win at the Commonwealth Games in the 5,000m has finally given her relief and a great start in outdoor competition after a poor showing at the World Indoor Championships.

Obiri, 27, started off the season on a sour note in Birmingham, England with a fourth place finish in the 3,000m indoor race.

However, she found her strength and challenged for medals at the Commonwealth Games and finally won over the 5,000m distance. “It has been a blessing in Australia and I’m happy to be the new Commonwealth Games champion over 5,000m. It is a nice way to start my outdoor season,” she said.

The World 5,000m champion, who had to shed 25 kilograms after the delivery of her child to return to competition, says the poor start to 2018 was a wake-up call for her over the potential challenge she faces in her quest to dominate the long distance races.

“In Birmingham, it was not quite the World Indoor Championships I wanted but I kept working hard to make myself the best I can be,” she added.

Obiri, who returns home together with the rest of the Kenyan contingent from the Commonwealth Games says there will be no room for rest as she quickly wants to get into better form ahead of her outdoor season in the lucrative Diamond League circuit, which has 14 stops spread across Asia, Africa, Europe and USA.

“I can confirm that I will be running in Doha. It gives me great joy to return to the Qatari capital to compete in the 3,000m event at the Doha Diamond League” she said. Obiri will be aiming to improve on her previous performance.

Obiri leads a strong field of Kenyans, which includes 2013 World Youth Champion and 2014 World Junior silver medalist in the 3,000m, Lilian Kasait Rengeruk and fifth-place finisher at the 2017 World championships, Margaret Chelimo Kipkemboi.

Reigning 1500m world silver medalist and Olympic bronze medalist, Jenny Simpson of the USA, will move up to the longer distance in Doha and will provide a strong challenge for the Kenyans.

Obiri enjoyed an outstanding 2017 season, claiming the overall 5,000m Diamond League trophy following victories in Shanghai and Rome, as well as winning the 3,000m in Monaco and taking a new meeting record over one mile at the Muller Anniversary Games in London.

However, 20-year-old teammate Rengeruk has shown strong form already this season, winning team gold at the 2018 World Cross Country Championships in Uganda and taking individual bronze, proving the youngster is one-to-watch and setting up an exciting head-to-head in May.

source: xinhuanet.com

CJ Ujah comes under fire from Usain Bolt for Commonwealth Games no-show

Usain Bolt criticised English sprinter CJ Ujah for opting not to compete at the Commonwealth Games.

Ujah chose to focus on the World Indoor Championships in Birmingham, where he was disqualified for a false start in the semi-finals, and is instead training in the United States.

As the Diamond League champion over the 100metres, a crown he won in the aftermath of last year’s World Championships in London, he would have been among the favourites for gold. Ujah recorded a time of 10.15sec in Arizona five days ago, which would have been enough for silver at the Commonwealth Games.

Asked about Ujah’s no-show, Bolt said: “I feel that the Commonwealths is an important stepping stone. I would have done it. People make decisions, you don’t know why. For me, I was very keen on coming here as I look at this as a major championship.

“I want every gold medal in my cabinet. I’m not one of those persons that says the Commonwealths is not important. For me, I find it very important. If they don’t show up, that’s their loss.”

Ujah’s absence has meant that none of the British 4x100m relay team who won gold in London last summer is now competing here.

Adam Gemili pulled out of the 100m final with a thigh injury picked up in his semi-final, while Nethaneel Mitchell-Blake was a late injury withdrawal and Danny Talbot is also on the sidelines recovering from injury.

The England team’s options are depleted for the relay, the quartet of Harry Aikines-Aryeetey, Richard Kilty, Zharnel Hughes and 110m hurdler Andrew Pozzi now the only realistic options for tomorrow’s qualifying round. Despite his stance on the issue, Bolt raced at just one Commonwealth Games, in Glasgow four years ago, where he was part of the 4x100m relay team that won gold. He missed the 2006 Games in Melbourne with a hamstring injury and said the subsequent event in 2010 had been “bad timing”.

The athletics has been devoid of many of its global stars but the now retired sprinter insisted the Commonwealths remained a key event for the future.

He said: “A championship for me is a championship. I turned up prepared and ready to go. I see no reason 40 years down the line the Commonwealths won’t be here. I take them seriously.

source: standard.co.uk

Dibaba lifts the 1500m title at the World Indoor games as Chebet finishes disappointing fifth

Ethiopian’s Genzebe Dibaba was  was on her class as she claimed her fifth world indoor medal when she won the 1500m gold medal at the ongoing IAAF World Indoor Championships in Birmingham on Saturday (3).

Sifan Hassan and Laura Muir – the other 3000m medallists – joined her in action along with a supposedly fresh Kenyan Beatrice Chepkoech, who won the Muller Indoor Grand Prix in an impressive 4:02.21 to lie second in the world rankings behind Dibaba’s 3:57.45.

Muir had won 3000m bronze behind Hassan and this time the Scot proved the better to finish just under a second down on Ethiopian world record-holder Dibaba.

The race started with a jog – 39.25 for the first 200m, which is only just inside five-minute pace, and picked up slightly through 400m in 76.48.

It was Dibaba who this time lost patience with the dawdle and she picked up the pace through 600m in 1:49.96.

Now Dibaba was operating at a mind-boggling 3:42 pace as she was running sub 30-second laps as she went through 800m in 2:20.81 and it was down to six runners to fight for the gold.

The third 400m through to 1200m was run in a vicious 59.77 but still Hassan, Muir and Chepkoech were holding on to the frantic pace.

The next 200m was run in 29.47 and that went away from Hassan. Down the back straight, Muir passed Hassan and briefly began to close on the leader.

Dibaba is special though and completing the last 800m inside two minutes she won in a superb 4:05.27.

“I am so happy to be able to do the double,” said Dibaba. “Last year I was sick but this time I was ready to run for my country.

“Laura was very strong but I am in good shape and that is why I won it. This is a gold for all the people of Ethiopia too.”

Muir was a brilliant second in 4:06.23 to take Britain’s first medal in this event since Kelly Holmes in Birmingham in 2003.

The three medallists finished well clear of the rest, US champion Shelby Houlihan taking fourth in 4:11.93 ahead of Kenya’s Winny Chebet fifth in 4:12.08, Jamaica’s Ashia Praught sixth in 4:12.86 and Kenyan steeplechaser Beatrice Chepkoech finishing a disappointing seventh place in 4:13.59.

Chebet and Chepkoech make it to the 1500m finals at World Indoor Championships

Kenya’s Winny Chebet made a historic debut at the ongoing World Indoor Championships in Birmingham when she crossed the line with a personal best of 4:05.81.

The 27 year old finished second in heat three that was won by the 2016 Indoor Champion Dutch national Sifan Hassan who cut the tape in season best of 4:08.46.

The former African junior champion will face an uphill task as she will battle for honors with the inform Genzebe Dibaba who 24 hours ago won gold in 3000m final.

While speaking to the press Chebet said, ” I thank God because i ran my PB during my debut. Am going to face Dibaba, Sifan and Muir but i will do my best to beat them God willing”.

Another Kenyan Beatrice Chepkoech will also be the star to watch as she took control of her heat to lead from the start to finish cutting the tape in 4:09.31.

Chepkoech who competes in 3000m steeplechase is best remembered from the last year’s world championships when she took a wrong turn making her finish in fourth position in a race that she was poised to win.

The two Kenyans will also battle with Hassan who took silver and the British champion Laura Muir who won a first medal (bronze) for his nation in the same race.

There are two notable big names that failed to make it to the final. The 2016 silver medalist Dawit Seyaum from Ethiopia who crossed the line 4:10.20 and former European 5000m champion Meraf Bata who tripped with two laps to go that forced her to finish a distant eight in 4:22.40.Both miss out on non-automatic qualifying slots.

The 1500m finals will be held on today (Saturday 3).

History Made in Athletics as All five runners are disqualified from 400m heat

Five athletes at the Birmingham World Indoor Championships gained unwanted notoriety on Friday when they were all booted out of their 400m heat – the first time in athletics history that an entire field has been disqualified.

Featuring the strongest line-up of all the 400m heats, the field was initially culled when Qatar’s world bronze medallist Abdallelah Haroun false-started to leave only four athletes in the race.

That allowed Grenada’s Bralon Taplin to cruise his way to what appeared to be the simplest of victories as he crossed the line first with minimal exertion.

The first two athletes in each heat were supposed to advance through to Friday evening’s semi-finals, but confusion soon reigned about five minutes after the race when every athlete’s result was wiped out.

Despite a lack of obvious visual evidence, all four athletes who had completed the race were disqualified for lane infringements, having stepped outside their allocated lane at some point during the race.

That meant not a single athlete was eligible for the semi-finals, with their places instead going to fastest losers in other heats.

The absence of Haroun and Taplin, who is the fastest man in the world this year, leaves the event wide open with Czech athlete Pavel Maslak chasing a hat-trick of world indoor titles.

British champion Lee Thompson made it through his heat with little trouble.